My latest blog post sees me focusing on my love of the Great Outdoors as well as having a fabulous opportunity to work with popular UK Outdoor clothing manufacturers, Mountain Warehouse. Within this particular blog I will be reviewing one or two products available from their extensive outdoor range and adding my own person view on the equipment.
The Brisk Extreme Mens Waterproof Jacket
I was lucky enough to try out the Brisk Extreme Mens Waterproof Jacket. After opening the package, the jacket looked great. It was Navy Blue in colour, with striking red trim on the main zips and seals.
My overall first impressions, were I liked the jacket straight away, as blue is not only my favourite colour, but the garment is well made and designed. Its overall appearance and style, seemed to be transferable from one outdoor activity to the next.
It felt and looked like a well made product and in turn was classified a high performance jacket, which is designed to suit the majority of outdoor conditions. The jacket has IsoDry technology, which allows the jacket to remain waterproof and also maintain high levels of breath-ability. Furthermore, the jacket comes equipped with multiple pockets for carrying essentials, making the jacket extremely practical for any outing, in the outdoors.
Package and Delivery
The items were delivered promptly and safely in sealed packaging. Along with a colourful 'Mountain Warehouse' outer bag, which was thicker and protective against any damage.
A waterproof jacket for me and probably any other outdoor enthusiast is pretty essential when spending most of your time in the outdoors.
Due to unpredictable weather conditions and changes it is vitally important that the garment maintains waterproofing when needed. I think we have all fallen foul and often purchased something that doesn't always fulfil its promise.
I tested the jacket during the summer in the Peak District and the weather conditions were a mixed bag of sunshine and showers, together with a few days of persistent rain. It gave a really good opportunity to therefore test the jackets overall levels of waterproofing and durability, within sometimes harsh weather conditions.
The outer shell material is particularly good and it is made of good quality, which fits and shapes to the body, really well. It has sealed red taped seams, that are waterproof and it is made from Mountains Warehouse's IsoDry fabric.
This makes it good quality and has a protective waterproof and breathable membrane, to help keep the elements at bay. Here, perspiration can be freely let out, but it also allows you to keep dry. This product is tested to 10,000mm and offers good durability. More information can be seen here.
Out in the field and under rainy conditions, the jacket performed very well and dryness was consistently maintained. I personally found it withstood the demands from heavy isolated showers and also persistent amounts of rain. Water simply ran off the jacket and didn't seep through onto the base layers.
I really liked how the branding on the jacket was clear, eye catching and kept minimal.
Personally, I'm not someone who like names and numbers written all over the products, you're not a walking advert and here I felt the balance was both subtle and meaningful.
It looks good and in this case the Mountain Warehouse branding is placed on the left side of the chest, which is strongly attached to the fabric.
Whenever I'm looking to buy an outdoor jacket, I tend to look for how light and breathable it is. Of course the more extreme the activity, the thicker the jacket is likely to be, but over the years I've worn thin garments, that don't allow for good temperature circulation.
Many activities allow you to stay relatively dry and warm, but the breath ability can be hampered, with over sweating. Leaving your base layers soaked in sweat. The Brisk Jacket has a highly breathable membrane that lets moisture out, making sure you stay dry on the inside. This is rated at 5000g and more information can be seen here.
During activities such as walking, the jacket maintained its lightweight feel and breath ability when it mattered. Even when zipped up full, the garment didn't overheat.
When the body temperature did increase and sweating occurred, more air is needed within the garment and the circulation of airflow needs to be increased. Under each arm is a sealed weatherproof zip, that allows for extra ventilation. These zips were very handy and when opened, these vents certainly helped to keep you cool and body temperature regulated.
The jacket has a well constructed mess lining between the body and the outer shell of the jacket, that allows for air to circulate freely. It provides large volumes of extra ventilation to help keep you cool. This is a great little addition to the jacket and it can be zipped to regulate the amount of air coming into the jacket
Storm Flap with Rain Channel
Another great feature of the jacket and an accessory that was also made to a high standard is the storm flap and rain channel. During periods of heavy rain and wind, it stops wind by forming a protective barrier from the elements and also reduces rain getting in at the zip. It has a series of grooved fabric channels, that allow water to move away from the zip area and allowing it to always be protected.
I cannot stress how comfortable the jacket was. It fits onto the body well and once out of the packet, it shapes naturally onto the body contours.
Some walking clothing can be a snug fit and the sizes somewhat deceiving. In this case the jacket provided ample room for sufficient body movement. The hem is adjustable and allows air / heat to be sealed close to the body. It is easy to adjust, by pulling the cord and this lets you draw the hem in for a better fit, without letting vital body heat out.
You can never have enough pockets in your jacket? ...but in some cases, it is fair to suggest that some jackets come equipped with far too many meaningless extras. I feel this jacket was subtle and had the right amount of pockets, which served their purpose well.
On the front chest, there is one main chest taped pocket, that is a security zipped pocket. Ideal for housing a phone or GPS. There are also two front zipped pockets, one with internal Velcro closure pocket and a zipped map pocket. The pockets are deep and comfortable and the overall feeling is that this jacket certainly has space for everything you’ll need to carry, while out in the field. I personally thought it was great and Mountain Warehouse had designed it well.
Stretch Back Panel
Another final feature was the elasticated back panel. This is a good addition to the jacket and it allows for free movement. It therefore makes it perfect and easy to move in. Resulting in a great garment for active use.
Personally, I really like a garment to have a good hood. It not only enables rain to be kept out, but it also acts as a great defence when battling against the cold and wind.
I really liked this hood, as it is not only fits over the head with no unwanted extra bits, but it is also is very flexible and also adjustable, to fit the size of your head.
It can be freely adjusted by the toggles that are positioned on the side and also rolled up and stored, when not in use. The Velcro bands at the base of the hood allow it to be secured in position and not flap around.
During conditions of rain and wind, the hood acted as a good barrier and I personally felt it did the job it was there to do.
Toggles and fit
Throughout the jacket there are hidden gems and finer details that make it for me, a great jacket to have. The fit, as previously eluded to is great.
The details are also something to highlight, as they are well made, sturdy and durable. They make up the smaller parts of this jacket, but paying attention to detail is always a sign of good quality and for me, this jacket has it all.
The Wanderer 30L Rucksack
For this product review I also had the chance to look at and test out one of the many Mountain Warehouse rucksacks.
Mountain Warehouse have a great range of rucksacks, that cater for the needs of all outdoor enthusiasts, which are well worth a view on their website.
The Wanderer is a 30L pack and this particular version was coloured in black and red. The design was good and I found it to be not too overpowering. The colouring looked appealing and modern. I liked the pack, as it was bigger on the inside, than it looked from the outside. Its overall size was therefore just perfect allowing the hiker to fit everything you need for your adventures.
This well made rucksack is made from ripstop polyester fabric and has multiple pockets, an airback system, a handy rain cover and is hydration pack compatible - ideal for travelling and walking.
It was really comfortable to wear on the back and really comfortable on the shoulders.
Breakdown of key features
The Airback system is really handy and a great addition. It is is a tensioned suspended open mesh back that creates space between the back of the pack and the user for maximum ventilation. It offers a high level of comfort and excellent breath ability. I filled the pack full and it still maintained a comfortable fit on the back.
Large main compartment
The pack has a large compartment, allowing you to house everything you'll need. It has an internal zip that allows you to split it in two separate compartments. This is really handy and spacious.
This rucksack has a pocket designed for a hydration pack, tube outlet and a loop to hold the tube in place. For any walker or hiker, this is highly useful when carrying water and maintaining hydration.
It was also good to have a range of different pockets which included bottle pockets, an organiser pocket and hip belt pockets. All of which are extremely useful.
Chest & hip straps
The well padded and comfortable chest straps provide high levels of comfort and help to evenly distribute the weight of the bag. Even when the bag was full and heavy, comfort was maintained.
Really handy for attaching your walking pole and more. A great addition to this tidy little pack.
Essential for weather extremes, tucked away in a handy pocket, it folds out to cover the rucksack in all types of wet weather.
Once again, I only feel that is right to extend a big thank you to Mountain Warehouse for allowing me to review some of their great products, through my latest blog post.
I really appreciate having had the opportunity to do so and I cannot thank them enough for the good products and excellent customer service throughout.
Keep up the good work.